Fiendish Friday: Personal Battles

I have this friend. Good friend. If I were being cheesy I might even say she is one of my people. Not my person, because hello, that’s my hubs. But one of my people, part of the tribe. We often end up in conversations where she says “I just don’t know what to do with him anymore.” Meaning her child. And I am always hesitant to say anything. Not because I don’t think I have suggestions but because I am aware of the one thing every human on the planet should consider before giving advice = I don’t know where she has been with him.

Let me dive into this a bit. As a mother (generally – I know dad’s stay at home too) you are with your child, day in, day out. You know them better than anyone on the planet. And if you live where I do and have a tech hubs, you’re doing it alone, 90% of the time, maybe even 95 or 100% when the hubs is trying to ship. So while I might think, she should try x. Maybe she’s already tried that. Maybe it made things worse. I don’t know. I wasn’t there for all that with her. She was alone, struggling through it on her own. Fighting with doctors and therapists to get them to give her a diagnosis so she could get help for her kid.

Yes, her child is not neuro-typical. Mine is not neuro-typical. Guess what, they are not neuro-typical in different ways. It would be like me giving all the knowledge I learned about surviving in the jungle to someone living on a tundra and expecting them to follow it. Two totally different worlds and little applies to both, except the most bland. Find a shelter. Oh really, you think I don’t know that? Seriously? A shelter? Bleep you and the horse you rode in on. Who probably broke a leg  because of the ice, since this is a tundra.

Raising a child is your own individual experience. People with multiple children will tell hittingyou each is different. Different things work on different kids. Raising a non neuro-typical child is your own private battle. The parent of a non neuro- typical child is constantly trying to improve the situation. Weighing whether coming down hard about how loud your child is singing in Costco is the right move or likely to set off a battle of epic proportions leading you to have to abandon your cart of desperately needed groceries as your child hits you, kicks you, and the people around you make comments that you really should be a better parent and teach your child some discipline. Really? Would you tell the parent of a child in a wheel chair, that they should be a better parent and teach their child to walk?
So again I say, you don’t know where that parent has been with their child. Hell, let’s just broaden that. You don’t know where that person you are judging has been. And giving advice is essentially judgment, the belief that you know better how to handle someone else’s life, than they do. We are all the sum of our experiences, positive and negative. You are judging through the filter of your experiences.

Which may be as far fromjungle-free-wallpapers-720x450 the tundra as the jungle is.




Me when I discover my child has been lying

Yesterday I discovered my son’s hamster had been stuck in it’s ball since I cleaned the cage last Sunday. Apparently my husband forgot to open the ball door when he and my son got done playing with the hamster and put him back. Ok, he oopsed. It happens. And it should have been caught by my son when he checked on his hamster right? Which I ask him to do every morning and he verifies he has done.

Nope. I found the poor hamster yesterday, 5 days no food or water. The poor thing was visibly distressed.

Picture long, calm conversation about this. Parenting at it’s kindest. But apparently not it’s most effective.

Today I go upstairs to vacuum, cat allergic friend coming over this afternoon and I like to have the allergens at a minimum for her.

My son’s cat has NO water. I ask him every day, did you check on your cat’s food and water? Yes, mom. She has plenty.


He lied to me. All week. To my face. My sweet little boy. Lied to me.

Please, please share your stories before I decide I am the worst parent on the planet. Tell me about the last time your kiddo lied to you? Or the worst time?

Just when you thought it was safe to make plans….

Friday night I got a call from the dogs’ new owners. Jersey had been digging in their back yard and they rent. Would I please take him back but they want to keep Blue. Absolutely.

So after I hang up the phone, my husband asks how I feel about this and I tell him quite honestly I’m not sure I can do it again. Jersey was my dog. And giving him up was excruciating. So hubby says, Ok, let’s try keeping him and see how it goes with just him.

I picked him up Saturday morning. He was definitely wigged out the first day but has since settled back in to home. I think he’s happier being the only dog in the house, maybe.

But getting him back means I need to make some changes so I can meet his needs now a long with everything else on my list. sigh. What it really means is I need to get up an hour earlier so I can walk him before my husband leaves for work. The problem with that, I am NOT a morning person in the worst way.

Take today for example, first day I need to get up at 6 so I can spend an hour drinking coffee and working on my writing, before I walk the dog. I rolled out of bed at 740, pulled on the first clothes I could find, poured myself a cup of coffee in a to-go mug and started walking the dog with my eyes still mostly closed. I don’t think I even remember the first stumbling half of the walk.

I could continue to get up at 730 and have time to walk the dog before the hubby leaves for work, if I want to repeat the stumbling along with coffee experience daily, but that would mean giving up my writing time. And this is the kind of decision that led to me agreeing to rehome them in the first place. I remember in my 20s getting up at 445 to work out before being at the office at 7. I remember the job I had with a 5 AM start time. I had no problem making these hours. Why can’t I get up?

I think it’s because patiently and kindly handling my son all day long is more exhausting than when I worked two jobs, than when I worked a full time job and I went to college. And that sucks.

It is my son’s sixth birthday

In his honor I will enumerate six things I love about him.

1) He knows things. Things that only someone with seriously emotional intelligence would know. Things it took me 30 plus years to learn.

2) He will always have a cuddle with his mommy. Even when I am cranky and irritable and short with him, he will give me a cuddle to help me be in a better mood. He meets irritation with love. I’m still working on that one.

3) He makes me look good. Every where I take him people love him and think he is an amazing little child.

4) He can admit when he doesn’t know things. Another thing it took me like 30 years to learn.

5) He traded in a love of Thomas the Tank engine for Star Wars. This may seem small to the uninitiated but when your child loves something it is a huge part of your life, and I HATED Thomas.

6) Some of my best friends, the people I am closest too, that always get me, that always support me, I met because Henry made friends with their kids. Because Henry makes friends with everyone, every where he goes, every day.

So here’s to an amazing little kid who makes those around him feel special and loved.

That’s all I need, see how easy I am to please…

At the end of the day, as a mother, housewife, home schooler, soccer coach, therapist for a special needs five year old, and shoulder for my friends – all I really want is a little time to take care of what matters to me outside of my family.

oh, you didn’t know I was allowed to care about anything more than my kid? my husband? my home?

yeah, some days it feels like no one else knows it either. sometimes not even me.

Recently a family member announced he was flying up for the day. How nice, I guess. Except he picked Wednesday to fly in. Wednesday, the one day a week I get to escape for 3 hours to be the writer me, to recharge my inner self, most of the time anyway, assuming my sitter shows up and I don’t take my son to write in with me. But I digress.

I take care of everyone in my life, all day every day. And I do a damn good job. My house is clean, I cook gourmet meals most nights of the week, my kid has learned more in two months with me than he did in four months at school, he has play dates 3-5 times a week. Have six kids over all afternoon? Sure, this mom will always say yes.

I yoga daily, walk the dogs, and shower at least 5 times a week. (if you’re thinking ick, trust me I am a paragon of cleanliness in the home school world)  I won’t embarrass us all by going on.

So on the heels of this loss of a Wednesday, a loss of three hours of reestablishing my identity as a human being, I had to sign my son up for co-op classes for next year. There were really, really good classes on Friday morning. But Friday morning there is a write-in. One that I do not make currently because I take my son to the co-op for classes. What a choice to make: another 2 hour window of feeding my soul each week or my son’s education? I agonized for weeks about this. Plus the schedule wasn’t final for a while and I kept hoping some of those great Friday classes might migrate to Monday or later to Friday afternoon. It didn’t happen.

It was simple for my amazingly supportive  husband. “He’s in first grade, go to the write in.” I nodded my agreement but still I heard that little voice that says, to be a good mother you must give up everything for your child. That voice is right, when your child is a newborn, through say age two. Most moms have a second child which forces them to separate a little, to split their time and devotion. For others elementary school comes along and enforces separation. I have neither. So I must work a little harder at it.

I know there’s precious little humor in this post and even less about actually writing but today I feel like there must be more of you out there who struggle to balance that drive to write (or whatever your dream is) with the drive to care for those around you. You are not alone. My son will not go to co-op on Friday this upcoming year. If that makes me less of a mom, then I embrace that it makes me more of a human.

Sometimes I just want to take the easy road

I must admit there are days where I just want to do what’s easy and say to hell with what’s right.

Some days the sheer effort to teach my son what’s right and why it’s important to do what’s right even when he sees people left, right, and center NOT doing what’s right, exhausts me.

Some days the never ending battles to teach him responsibility for himself and to others, to think before acting, and help him learn to make right choices seems like more than one human can handle. (Editor’s commentary, I do have a fab hubby who sadly works more than hour each way from home for a major tech company. It is completely understood up here when you refer to yourself as a “Company X widow”.)

Wouldn’t it be easier to just to let my child languish in school, even if it destroys his soul?

(Please don’t read this as a statement against those whose children are thriving in full day, half day, or other kinder. My son simply is not.)

I would have so much time to write and yoga and walk the dogs. My house would be spotless. I would cook gourmet dinners every night.

But then I realize if I was the kind of person who took the easy way out I would probably have very little to say that would interest anyone. In fact I think my novels would be as empty as my soul would have to be.

I start to wonder is it really that important that I write this novel? Does it really matter if I get this all edited and polished in time for ABNA this year?

And my answer must be two fold.

No, it’s doesn’t matter. ABNA will come again next year.

And yes, it does. I cannot model being a robust functional compassionate member of society to my son without something for myself. This is what I do for me.

I know this post had little to do with editing. As I was working this morning at the write in (which I left early to get my son from school), I kept thinking oh I should talk about this in my blog today. But when I sat down to write, this is what appeared on my screen. I did edit three more chapters today. I found a few entertaining typos, like begs legs. um what? oh, yeah, bed legs. Clearly my brain was ahead of my fingers.

As practically an aside, this morning at the write in we talked about my post regarding the nature of writing and everyone at the table agreed that their characters were all in control no matter what they as the author thought. One good friend even said that’s why she thought outlines were pointless. The characters always changed the direction once you got started.

I will share one of the lines I came across today that amused me.

“Oh.” There was little else to say to a pilot with one arm.

giggle. I don’t know why that amuses me so. Perhaps that my characters are as flawed as the rest of us and occasionally find themselves tasting their own toes. Maybe that’s it.